131 Poll Merino rams sold to $17,000, av $3281
107 Merino rams sold to $15,000, av $3252
5 Corriedale rams sold to $6500, av $2650
5 Dohne rams sold for $3500 each
LOT numbers were down at the Sheepvention ram sale, but competition was strong.
Buoyed by the strong wool and sheep prices, buyers from Victoria, South Australia, NSW, Tasmania, Queensland and even Western Australia bid up to set a record average price at the Hamilton event.
Overall, 248 rams sold and averaged $3260, which was $475 up on last year’s then average price, although there were fewer rams offered and sold. Only 20 were passed in during the auction.
Geoff and Bernadette Davidson, Moorundie Poll Merino stud, Keith, South Australia, topped the sale for the second consecutive year, after making a dazzling debut as vendors last year.
A 14 month-old, near 120-kilogram ram was knocked down for the sale high of $17,000, to new client Fred Leo, Leovale stud, Lake Grace, WA. Mr Davidson said he went back to their NE008 family, from which came four of the five rams they sold at Hamilton last year (including the 2016 $30,000 sale-topper) and their two highest priced rams this year (the second being at $12,000). He said the results validated their efforts to offer sheep they thought would suit the sale and the interstate market.
“We’re trying to develop a sheep that is suited to these high rainfall areas and I think we’re on the path, although we’ve got a long way to go yet. I think people are starting to recognise the value of fast growing animals and the type of wool that can handle the rainfall.”
Langdene, Glenpaen and Melrose studs together purchased the second highest priced ram for $15,000 from Robert Harding’s Glendonald stud, Nhill.
NSW studs Bogo Merinos and Pastora Poll Merinos, from Boambolo and Lockhart respectively, in partnership purchased a Terrick West ram for $14,000.
Craig Wilson, of Craig Wilson and Associates in Wagga Wagga, NSW, is an adviser to both buyers of the 18.7M ram, which weighed 112kg at 14 months of age. Mr Wilson said they purchased the second top-priced ram at last year’s Sheepvention from the McGauchie family’s Terrick West stud, and the early results “looked really exciting”.
“We’re seeing the sheep are really well balanced, have fantastic structure, really good width, and a lot of the sort of more subjective things that we want to add to our figures-based sheep,” Mr Wilson said.
The Blackwood family’s Blackwood Performance Corriedales sold an 11 month-old ram for the highest price achieved for a Corriedale in the event’s 39-year history. It sold for $6500 to Wimmera producers, Terry Phillips, Callawadda, and Mark Reading, Wallaloo, who have both, in recent years, introduced Corriedales into their Merino flocks.
“I’ve seen enormous improvements, especially in the lamb survival rates,” Mr Phillips said. “And this ram, we couldn’t let him go. I love its white wool.”